There are varying and (sometimes) competing perspectives, which must be garnered for a cooperative totality of perspectives — including the perspective of the Agency, the Office of Personnel Management, the applicant filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS, and the doctor.
The doctor, of course, is naturally suspicious of the entire disability retirement process. That is why it is crucial to explain the process, the distinction between OPM Disability Retirement and other processes such as SSDI and OWCP.
There may even be an underlying hesitation because of the suspicion of a contemplated lawsuit. If the doctor is a surgeon, he or she might be suspicious that the reason why you are asking for a medical narrative report is because you want the doctor to admit that the prior surgical intervention was unsuccessful, and that such an admission will be used to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Without addressing the issue directly, by explaining the process of filing for Federal Employee Disability Retirement — what it entails; what is needed; why and how it is different from other processes — will ultimately benefit the applicant and the entire process by garnering the support of the doctor. Explanation and understanding is always the best avenue to easing the mind of suspicion.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire